“Prepare Our Lives”
Our theme for this Christmas is “Preparing For A Birth.” The idea is to consider what is involved in preparing for the birth of a baby into a family. Each week will focus on a particular area of preparation and how it relates to our relationship with Jesus and His birth.
What Is Advent?
Bethel Grove Bible Church represents the cultural diversity within the body of Christ. As a result, BG’s worship has an eclectic style, with elements inherited from richly historical and broadly evangelical Christian traditions. This is especially visible during the holiday season. Advent is an example of one of these traditions.
The word Advent has Latin roots, meaning “the coming.” It can be traced back as early as AD 350. For centuries, Advent has been a time of spiritual reflection and preparation leading up to the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, in much the same way that Lent serves to prepare the believer for the resurrection and Easter. Advent is also a reminder of the Second Coming and the church’s current state of anticipation and expectation.
Advent wreaths probably originated with the folk traditions of northern Europe. During the dark winter months, people lit candles on wheel-shaped bundles of evergreen. The evergreen and the circular shape of the wreath symbolized everlasting life. The candlelight gave comfort. The imagery of light and life recalled the message of the gospel of Christ. Traditionally, the wreath contains four candles; three purple and one pink. Purple dyes were rare and associated with royalty, so that color was used to honor Jesus as Lord and King. The Advent candles symbolize hope, peace, love, and joy. A fifth white candle located in the center of the wreath is lit on Christmas day, and is called the “Christ Candle.“ In some traditions, the four candles represent Bethlehem, the prophets, shepherds, and angels. No matter what the candles are called, they are used to tell the story of the nativity.